Katie White Swanson
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Katie White Swanson

Katie W.

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This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I have a Doctorate in Viola Performance from the University of Oregon and have taught beginners through university level students for over 15 years! My students learn to develop effective personal practice habits to reach goals that we set together. I teach all styles and have a passion for learning about composers and genres beyond Western Classical music. I've taught young beginners, adults wanting to start something new or return to an old instrument, and people from all walks of life including military personnel and a brain surgeon! Please contact me if you're interested in a trial lesson. :)

About Katie W.

I believe that everyone has an inherent potential to make beautiful music! Over the past fifteen years, I have instructed musicians from ages 4 to adulthood, and enjoy learning from and alongside my students. As a violist, I find it of particular importance that all of my students, regardless of instrument, learn to play in an ergonomic way that will not cause physical discomfort or issues along the road. I believe in using technical study as a means to playing more musically, not as an end to itself, and prefer to teach primarily from repertoire and supplement with exercises when needed.
I have worked in Suzuki programs and have introductory training in the method but do not teach using this method. I myself learned to play and studied pedagogy through European and American traditions, which emphasize music-reading at an early stage and the ability to analyze written music. I do not require memorization of every piece, but emphasize it as a skill that must be mastered and used often.
My core goal in teaching is to empower my students to learn pieces and continue playing on their own as they move towards adulthood, and to provide a positive, supportive environment that will encourage them to keep trying new things. I also know from experience that cultivating the work ethic needed for becoming proficient on an instrument is an essential life skill, and encourage my students to practice in a disciplined, structured way.
Happy playing!


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Doctorate of Musical Arts in Viola Performance
Sep 2011 - Dec 2014

University of Oregon

Masters of Music in Viola Performance
Aug 2009 - May 2011

Baylor University

Bachelors of Music in Viola Performance
Aug 2005 - May 2009

Baylor University



Limited Proficiency


American Viola Society
Aug 2014
The American Viola Society is a nonprofit organization of viola enthusiasts, including students, performers, teachers, scholars, composers, makers, and friends, who seek to encourage excellence in performance, pedagogy, research, composition, and lutherie. United in our commitment to promote the viola and its related activities, the AVS fosters communication and friendship among violists of all skill levels, ages, nationalities, and backgrounds.

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